Short Take on Taiwan

Eye On Taiwan
Date: June 6, 2016
By: David Wang

Would a graduate of Columbia, Stanford, Yale or Harvard invest in a street-vending business, not even as impressive nor nearly as large as a food truck in the USA, to sell the crispy-shelled pastry shaped like an inflated coin 6 centimeters in diameter filled with usually the options of red bean paste, turnip bits, creamy pudding about as innovative as peddling turquoise jewelry on American Indian reservations, albeit being a staple snack across Taiwan that would also quell hunger for anyone on a shoe-string budget?

One honorable graduate of the National Taiwan University, still said in the media and widely recognized in the country as the academic standard-bearer, has done just that, according to TV news aired June 5, 2016 in Taipei.

With Taiwanese media having consistently reported of stagnant wages over the last few years and university graduates on the island, except engineering graduates who are still paid half-decent wages, mainly fantasizing monthly starting pay exceeding US$1,500, and graduates with masters and PhDs mostly dreaming about paychecks nearing US$2,000 to awe-inspire even designers of Disneyland theme park rides, this NTU graduate apparently has more practical goals in mind than boldly joining a corporation to, for example, design an app to hail on-demand a harmonica-playing manicurist to make the world a better place.

Bills have to be paid on-time right?

Notwithstanding this graduate’s more prosaic concerns to stoop to engage in a pride-gnawing business typically reserved for Taiwanese without substantial job skills, college education or over-the-top marketing ideas to wow the likes of Dior, Tiffany and Louis Vuitton, he or she may have played hooky during the lectures on The Basics of Opportunity Cost.

For why would any Taiwanese youth who has managed to enter and graduate from the enviable NTU essentially forfeit the right to leverage the real value, not to mention its cachet, attached to the diploma after investing at least 4 years of one’s prime, as well as the tuition and any potential earnings forsaken as defined by Opportunity Cost?

Or maybe the holier-than-thou NTU isn’t such an admirable institute of higher learning as many Taiwanese would believe?

Just ask the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Mark Zuckerberg, Ellen DeGeneres, who, among many other high-profile, world-changing figures who also saw the light before wasting more time and money in university, could have given this NTU graduate a few pointers.

Incidentally, the humble pastry-vending business will recoup for the NTU graduate any monetary investment in 2 years and generate monthly revenue easily 30 to 40 percent more than typical salaries paid his or her alums, without having to don stuffy, pretentious shirt-and-tie that also incurs extra cost.

¹ Eye On Taiwan provides news and opinion articles as a service to our readers. Often these articles come from sources outside of our organization. Where possible, the author and the source are documented within each article. Statements and opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the author or authors and may or may not be shared by the staff and management of Eye On Taiwan.

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